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Book Details

Sentinel of the Sahyadris
(Memories and Reflections)
E S Modak
Bibliography : vi, 287pp., 1 Map, Demy 8vo.
HB ISBN (10) : 8175362243
HB ISBN (13) : 9788175362246

(HB) List Price US$ :

About the Book:

The most important problem of law and order facing the democracies in the world today is that of terrorism. On the one hand, the terrorists, in their latest incarnation as suicide bombers, are able to strike at will, where they will, without let or hindrance. On the other hand, the security forces seem to affect only one role-that of the helpless spectator, with a complete lack of prior intelligence, and lack of will to react swiftly with strength and determination. In Jammu and Kashmir, the militants have not only played havoc in the cities of Srinagar, Jammu, Sopore, Baramulla but they have had the temerity to strike at the head-quarters of the reserve police and army units, taking them by surprise every time.

In India, apart from Jammu and Kashmir, terrorist and similar gangsters have kidnapped for ransom and killed innocent people from the North-east to Mumbai, to Chennai. The latest example is that of the sandalwood smuggler and murderer, Veerapan, who had kidnapped and held an ageing matinee idol for 108 days.

Everywhere, the police have to face the problem of mob violence. Daily, we are witnesses to scences of mob s on the rampage, shown in vivid detail on the T.V. screens. And we see policemen in one's and two's aiming and firing at individuals throwing only stones and brickbats, and then and running for cover. Leadership and control of the police forces seems to be conspicious, if only by its absence.

In this book the author has given a crystallized and succinct account of how he had dealt with such problems in his thirty-seven years of service in the police department.

About the Author:

Modak was recruited to the Indian police in 1941 as Assistant Superintendent. After his training, he was posted as ASP to the district of Satara in Bombay Province. At that time, Satara was in the grip of the underground movement against the British, which the saboteurs called 'the Patri Sarkar', the Government of the Bastinado. For his work there, Modak was awarded the Indian Police Medal for moritorious service. He is till today, the youngest officers in the Indian Police to have got this award. He was also awarded the Police Medal and the Presidents' Police Medal for distinguished service.

Modak served in several districts as Superintendent of police, and as deputy inspector general. he was director of the anti-corruption bureau, the first commissioner of police of Poona, commissioner of police of Bombay, Inspector General of Police of Jammu and Kashmir (on deputation), and Inspector General of Police of Maharashtra.

Modak has published two novels and several short stories. He has written a historical novel on the Emperor Ashoka, and a historical play on Queen Chand Bibi, who fought against the Mughals. He believes that if the writing of prose (in any genre) is to be meaningful, it must be true to life and reflect life. He believes that a writer who has had to face drama in his daily life, does not need to scour the recesses of his imagination to get lively and living detail; it is there waiting for his pen.

The publishers are persuaded that this book is not just another routine memoir of a policeman. They agree with Modak's agruements that while the shape and outward aspect of police problem might change with changing times, their basic core has remained the same, and that, if, while dealing with them, the police and their political masters adopt the same attitudes and methods, that they have hitherto, these problems will continue to bedevil them and might, one day, overwhelm them.

What Modak has to say should be of interest, not only to the makers and enforcers of the law, but to the enlightened public who have a right to expect a better deal from their elected representatives and their protectors.

Sentinel of the Sahyadris, by E S Modak


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